White Paper Calls for Consistent Skills Policy Across UK Borders

Leading apprenticeship levy-paying employers from the gas, power, waste management and water industries are calling for consistency in skills policy across the four nations of the UK to cut costs and red tape.

This request to policymakers is detailed in the ‘Transnational Research White Paper: Unified Skills Policy for a Truly United Kingdom.’ It is supported by the views of the 25-strong forum of employers, who assert that the removal of transnational policy obstacles will better position the sector to address existing skills challenges. It builds on recommendations in the Workforce Renewal & Skills Strategy and detailed research into the challenges transnational employers face.

The collaboration, facilitated by Energy & Utility Skills and Dr Jacqueline Hall, Associate Director of the Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service, saw policymakers from all four UK nations gather to hear concerns impacting transnational employers, and participate in discussions on possible solutions.

The White Paper provides an overview of the research findings: its recommendations include promoting alignment and compatibility of processes governing UK apprenticeships, using National Occupational Standards (or equivalent) to ensure parity between qualifications and training programmes across all four UK nations.

Nick Ellins, Chief Executive of Energy & Utility Skills, said: “Businesses in our sector and their delivery partners increasingly operate for domestic and retail customers across the UK. Brexit will exacerbate existing tensions within a tightening UK labour market, increasing pressure on the domestic workforce and potentially leading to delayed energy and utility projects and increased costs. It is all the more important that skills policy is aligned across all four UK nations to achieve UK-wide workforce agility and resilience.”

Read the White Paper here.

The Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy was released in February 2017, by the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership, a collaboration of leading UK sector employers. It has been recognised by 50 senior stakeholders and seen a number of its recommendations subsequently reflected in policy. Read more.

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